Who Is Alannah McCready? The Story Behind Her Journey to Country Music

Who is Alannah McCready? The singer-songwriter joined us to chat about her journey to country music. Get to know the rising star here…

We love supporting females in the music industry, so when Alannah McCready came across our radar, we knew we had to interview her. The country-pop singer-songwriter is our Swag Spotlight artist this week. Getting to know McCready and her story was both inspiring and exciting, and we know fans everywhere will love her just as we do.

Growing up in Minnesota, the songstress’s life was all about marrying her two polar-opposite passions in life, hockey, and music. Her upbringing in Minnesota clearly influenced her love for hockey, but it was her Oklahoma-native mom that introduced her to country music. “Ever since a young age, Ive been listening to country music with her, ya know Trisha [Yearwood] and Martina [McBride],” adding later, “I think I kinda taught myself to sing by listening to them and copying what they were doing. Country music was always a big part of my life.”

She continued to merge her two interests through high school and college, winning championships in hockey and doing things like singing the National Anthem at games. Despite her knack for both passions, McCready knew that music was her first love. Once I graduated college, I was like you know what, I need to do what I feel like Im meant to do which is music full-time, and I have been doing music full-time since 2012.”

After a stint in New York City working in public relations, the singer gave all of her attention to crafting her sound and artistry. Her first record was created through “a culmination of all those journals” she had written over the years. Little did she know, she was also a songwriter. “I think as a songwriter it’s really awesome to pull from all different genres. I feel like the story-telling is what makes it country music in a sense because country music is a wide range of genre now, and story-telling is what keeps us all together.”

As a strong woman in country music, McCready finds inspiration from other strong and confident women in the music industry from all genres. I think definitely growing up it was those powerful women in country, back then they kind of dominated country music. […] Now, I feel like its getting back to that, we have all these amazing, powerful, different women in country that I feel like were really making a comeback,” she shares when asked about her influences. The songstress also name-dropped artists like Christina Aguilera for helping her find her voice.

Alannah McCready Something Like That

Today, McCready is a new Nashville native that just released her single “Something Like That” back in February. The track is the first in an upcoming EP that was created during quarantine. The new song is a fresh take on relationships and standards.  It kind of turned into scaling back relationships and what people want in relationships, especially nowadays people get so caught up in these really specific, detailed items that they want or need from a person […] but in reality, its really the fundamental things that make a relationship work or not work,” the singer explained, when asked about the inspiration for the track.

As we await more music from McCready, fans can be excited that she promises to get back on the road ASAP. “The goal is to get back out on the road,” she tells us, and we’re sure her new home in Nashville will help her garner an even bigger much-deserved fanbase.

To keep up with Alannah McCready, follow her on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook.

Fans can join our Weekly Round-Up e-newsletter here, for the latest in country music and more news about future Alannah McCready releases.

Alannah McCready’s music is available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

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Who Is Elvie Shane? The Story Behind His Journey to Country Music

Who is Elvie Shane? The singer-songwriter joined us to chat about his journey to country music. Get to know the rising star here…

Elvie Shane

Elvie Shane

This week our spotlight shines on Broken Bow Records recording artist, Elvie Shane. The singer-songwriter released his debut EP County Roads last month and his debut single “My Boy” just broke into the top 25 on the country charts. We chatted with the singer about his whirlwind few months and all the work he has put in to get to this point.

A Kentucky native, Shane never lived a day without music in his life, yet never dreamed that it would be his career. “My mom likes to say I was born on a Sunday and the following Sunday she had me in church,” adding, “The first week out of the hospital I was exposed to music on a weekly basis, or even a daily basis, listening to 90s country in the car with my mom.” As the singer reminisces about his childhood he labels those Sundays as probably “the most monumental days as far as music goes in [his] life.”

Shane quickly found a love for 90s country, but he credits his family for his diverse musical taste. His dad introduced him to classic rock, the grittier side of country music, southern rock, and even The Temptations. “I was just exposed to a lot of different stuff from R&B to Rock and Roll, to Country, to Gospel music, and that was pretty much in one Sunday, every Sunday of my life.” Specifically, the singer shared a love for John Fogerty, Steve Earl, and even appreciates the harmonies in groups like Boyz II Men, a group his mother took a liking to.

Eventually, his love of music and his faith led him to play in a band with other churchgoers until he left home to attend college. While in college, the singer played gigs at bars and remembers writing music, but after meeting his now wife, he admits he hung his guitar up for a few years. Thankfully, the singer got back out on the music scene a few years later, after he met some of his wife’s friends, who had a band. Shane ended up opening up for them early in his career.

Despite his clear talent and the encouragement of his friends and family to head to Nashville to write and try to ‘make it,’ the singer was hesitant. “I wasn’t really connecting with what was going on in country music at a time,” he begins, before sharing the event that actually changed his mind, “But one night Chris Stapleton and Justin Timberlake ended up on stage together at CMAs and I’d been a Stapleton fan forever ’cause he’s another Kentucky boy. […] It’s probably one of the most incredible performances that we will ever hear.”

Shane went on to share his internal dialogue after watching the iconic performance, which solidified his desire to head to Nashville. “If these two different worlds can blend in such a way then there has to be a place for me in country music somewhere,” he thought. Moments later, his buddy, who has been trying to convince him to come to Nashville to write called him, and he finally agreed to take the leap.

Shortly after coming to Nashville, Shane scored a publishing deal; however, after he wrote his now debut single “My Boy,” record deals started calling. The singer eventually signed with Broken Bow Records, and just recently put out his debut EP County Roads. The record was inspired by the coming of age years in life. “What better way to relate to people is to try to focus on those years, the first loves, love lost, love found, where I grew up, how I grew up.”

Although all the songs on the record are spectacular in their own rights, “My Boy” is the current fan favorite. Written during what Shane calls “a God moment,” the single went viral on Facebook and then viral on TikTok three years after it was initially written. Ironically the singer was worried about making “My Boy” his single, but eventually, he came to his senses realizing, “What better time in history in music to put a song about love and family than a time when were stuck in the house together, so we put it out, and here we fit.” We agree!

At the end of our conversation, Shane made sure to let us know that he will be hitting the road as much as possible this year. He even hinted at touring with both male and female artists in “the same realm as [he] is in country music.” It is only a matter of time until Shane is on a stage near you and releasing even more new music!

Elvie Shane's debut EP, 'County Roads' is available everywhere now

Elvie Shane’s debut EP, ‘County Roads’ is available everywhere now

To keep up with Elvie Shane, follow him on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook.

Fans can join our Weekly Round-Up e-newsletter here, for the latest in country music and more news about future Elvie Shane releases.

Elvie Shane’s music is available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

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Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC & Beyond!

Subscribe to our Weekly Round-Up here 
for ticket giveaways, meet & greet contests, upcoming events,
and all things country music in the New York metro area and beyond!

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Who Is Jackson Michelson? The Story Behind His Journey to Country Music

Who is Jackson Michelson? The singer-songwriter joined us to chat about his journey to country music. Get to know the rising star here…

Jackson Michelson

Jackson Michelson

“That’s what I love about country music today, it all comes together around the story and we have such a wide array of sounds right now which I think is really good for our genre.”

Today we are highlighting an artist who we have been loving lately. Jackson Michelson, a Curb Records recording artist, is one of those people that is simply made to be a musician. During our conversation, we learned that the singer has been writing and singing since he was a young kid. We also got to talk to Michelson about his journey into country music and his current radio single, “Tip Jar.”

For Michelson, music was everything growing up. The Oregon native shared, “I grew up in the church playing music. My older brother was ten years older than me and he played guitar and wrote songs,” adding, “So I remember for my 10th or 11th birthday, I asked for a guitar, learned a couple of chords, and I just started writing songs right away.” The singer found himself gravitating towards the music that his parents liked, recalling that his mother was a big country fan (Collin Rae, Tim McGraw) and his father was a huge soul fan, introducing him to artists like Sam Cooke and Earth, Wind & Fire.

“It was kind of like living in two different worlds growing up” shared Michelson, as he opened up about his parents getting divorced when he was young, “but what’s really cool about country and soul is that there are gospel roots between both of them.” Interestingly enough, Christian music is where he would first experience being a working artist.

Michelson’s older brother got a record deal as a Christian artist, and he soon found himself selling merchandise for his sibling. It wasn’t until one day when the band’s bass player couldn’t make it that Michelson started gigging with his brother. This led to the singer playing bass for his brother more frequently and eventually starting another band right alongside him.

“I was like 18 years old on the road, seeing all these places, just loving it,” he shares, reminiscing about his time playing gigs across the West Coast with his band, “And this whole time, I was writing my own songs and they came out country because I grew up in the Grass Seeds capital of the world.”

Still not realizing that what he was writing and recording was country music, Michelson just aimed to make good music that people would love. I always wrote songs and I never called myself a country artist. I just would write songs and they would come out as a story. […] my friends started saying you should go get this played on the local country station, like this is really cool country music. I wasnt even calling it country,” he tells us.

Once one of his songs got picked up by Sirius XM The Highway, the singer unexpectedly had record labels and executives calling him from Nashville. He ultimately inked a deal with Curb Records, leaving his band with his brother to pursue his country music career.

Now the singer has a song at country radio and is creating music that he always wanted to create. Laced with his pop-rock influences from his high-school days of listening to bands like Maroon 5 and his knack for story-telling, “Tip Jar” was a no-brainer to release for the singer. I love catchy melodies and bringing that to country music,” he shares, “I still want to write in complete integrity of a great story, but I love how catchy a song could be.”

“Tip Jar” is exactly that! The song has heart, but at the same time is an absolute jam. Michelson shared that the song came to fruition last year when he was waiting for his writing partner on Zoom one day. While he was waiting, he started thinking about the title tip jar that he had in his phone for what seems like forever. Ultimately, he started playing a melody on the guitar, and the rest started flowing together.

I started thinking about Nashville and how you want to request a song on Broadway, you throw out a $20 and put in the tip jar, and the band will play it. […] Its a story about a guy who had his heartbroken who needs to make new memories with all these songs cause his girl broke his heart.” Michelson eventually added a bridge with his writing partner and re-wrote the 2nd bridge with another songwriter before deciding with his team that this was the song he had to release.

We ended our interview by asking Michelson what he has in store for fans as the year goes on. The singer promises that he will have more and more music coming down the pipeline, sharing that he will be putting out music consistently until October. It is important to him to “let each song be their own hero for the moment.” Of course, we will be able to catch Michelson back on the road sooner rather than later too.

To keep up with Jackson Michelson, follow him on Instagram, Twitter,  and Facebook.

Fans can join our Weekly Round-Up e-newsletter here, for the latest in country music and more news about future Jackson Michelson releases.

Jackson Michelson’s music is available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

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Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC & Beyond!

Subscribe to our Weekly Round-Up here 
for ticket giveaways, meet & greet contests, upcoming events,
and all things country music in the New York metro area and beyond!

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Who Is Sacha? The Story Behind Her Journey to Country Music

Who is Sacha? The singer-songwriter joined us to chat about her journey to country music. Get to know the rising star here…

Sacha

“Music has been ever-present in my life from my earliest recollections.” – Sacha

This week we are excited to introduce a rising singer-songwriter, who hails all the way from a small town in Ontario, Canada. Sacha, our next Swag Spotlight artist, is a budding talent in the industry, who is making waves with her music. A CMT’s ‘Next Women of Country’ inductee, this is only the beginning for the songstress.

Born and raised in a musical family from Ontario, Sacha has always had music in her heart and in her soul. “The impact of country living and country music just had an effect on me,” she tell us, “I grew up in a household of musicians. Every instrument was available in my house.” With an ear for all music, her family introduced her to the likes of artists like Patsy Cline, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, and even Bob Marley.

“I didn’t even realize what kind of music I was falling in love with, it was just what I heard over the speakers that really struck a chord with me,” she shared, later adding that it was her mom’s Patsy Cline’s records that really stuck out to her. “I remember singing along and wishing I was the voice on the other side of the speaker.”

As she grew older, the idea of being a female singer-songwriter in the industry felt more possible after she discovered a brand new artist at the time, Taylor Swift. As a young girl, Swift was breaking records, writing music, and being portrayed in the best light by fans and the industry. I just wanted to sing,” she recalls, “You just dont know how youre going to connect those dots from a small town to the stage, to the dream.”

Armed with a passion, but a need to pay the bills, Sacha juggled both the “typical” life, working and grinding away with playing gigs wherever she could. I was playing the guitar for three hours a day, working on my guitar skills, writing, and then I started going down to the open mics,” shared Sacha, adding, “When I picked up my guitar to write a song, it was just natural to me to write a story, thats just what was natural to me, its just what came out of me, country music.”

After entering and winning a singing competition called “Canada’s Next Country Music Star” in 2016, doors started to open for the budding entertainer. Her dream of being a country artist continued to become more real when she connected with the incredible Leslie Fram of CMT and eventually was inducted into the 2021 class of CMT’s ‘Next Women of Country.’

Around the same time, Sacha released her EP The Best Thing, featuring her current charted hit “Standards.” As an independent release, the song broke the top 50 on the Canadian charts and created more buzz about her in the country music world. The song also happens to be an incredible anthem for people everywhere.

“The second I heard it, it just hit me like a ton of bricks,” she shared when she first heard the pitch for the song, “I always loved making music for the love of it, but the main thing is having a good message to go along with. […] We have a lot of heartbreak songs on country radio, but not a lot of songs that might help you avoid one,” she laughs, adding later, “Stick to your standards!”

Sacha promises that more music is in the works and continues to write as much as she can. Of course, as soon as it’s safe to travel, she hopes to come back to Nashville to be surrounded by people that inspire her. It’s safe to say it is only just the beginning for the songstress and her blossoming career.

To keep up with Sacha, follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Fans can join our Weekly Round-Up e-newsletter here, for the latest in country music and more news about future Sacha releases.

Sacha’s music is available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

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Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC & Beyond!

Subscribe to our Weekly Round-Up here 
for ticket giveaways, meet & greet contests, upcoming events,
and all things country music in the New York metro area and beyond!

+ Follow our country music adventures on InstagramTwitter & Facebook:

Who Is Roman Alexander? The Story Behind His Journey to Country Music

Who is Roman Alexander? The singer-songwriter joined us to chat about his journey to country music. Get to know the rising star here…

Roman Alexander

Roman Alexander

We love championing up-and-coming artists in the country music industry. There is so much talent out there to look forward to. Roman Alexander is one of those singer-songwriters that we are currently excited about. We chatted with Alexander all about his blossoming career, his path to Nashville, and of course, his newest EP, “Between You & Me”.

Growing up outside of Kansas City in a town called Parkville, Alexander was one of those kids that loved music from an extremely early age. The singer recalls playing gigs at bars in a family band at the early age of just seven years old. “It was a big part of my childhood,” shared Alexander, “My mom hardly ever missed one [gig]” he added, laughing at the memories.

Alexander’s family also played a big role in the music he was introduced to. My family always had a really wide variety of music playing around the house,” shared the singer, “My parents were both ‘80s kids. They loved ‘80s rock and ‘80s alternative.” He credits his mother for introducing him to country acts like Dierks Bentley, Keith Urban, and Kenny Chesney, but Elvis Presley still remains the singer’s biggest musical influence to this day.

Shortly after high school, Alexander made the move to Nashville, Tennessee to pursue a career as a country artist. Filled with talent and a hunger to make it the industry, the singer worked odd jobs to meet and network with as many people as possible. He recalls working at an Audi dealership exactly for that reason. “When people would pull up, I would sometimes steal their business cards out or their cars or take a picture of it,” he laughs adding “I would email them to try to get a meeting, and 99.9% of the time I didn’t get a response.” This just lit a bigger fire under Alexander. Ultimately he ended up working as a merchandise guy for country music bands and then for Easton Corbin, which led him to sign his publishing deal.

Now Alexander is living his dream, writing and recording songs for a living. He recently released a killer duet with newcomer, Alana Springsteen called “Trying Not To.” “It was the first song we ever wrote together,” shared Alexander, “I wanted to have a duet of some sort but we didn’t want to do it like the norm […] We kinda wanted to make it unique and kinda intertwine things.” This resulted in a song that equally showcases the singers’ talents and vocals.

Alexander has another duet coming down the pipeline soon too. He collaborated with fellow songstress Ashley Cooke on a new version of his song “Between You & Me.” The new version will be out on April 24th. According to Alexander, the decision to drop a new version of the song with Cooke was an easy one. “My manager was like what if we got ya know a female on “Between You & Me” and just throw some fuel on the fire and keep things going […] and I said what about Ashley Cooke, it was a no brainer.”

Fans can check out Alexander’s EP, also called Between You & Me. The collection of songs gives music lovers a taste of everything that makes the singer who he is. The first year of my publishing deal was me writing and just trying to figure out what I wanted to say […] And Cocktail Conversations” was the first song we wrote on the EP that absolutely solidified this is the right direction. It had every bit of who I am in it […] It all flowed together really well,” shared the singer when asked about the record.

Although Alexander has given us a lot of new music to hold us over for a while, he promises fans that there will be new music coming in the near future. However, above all else, the singer cannot wait to get back on the road to groove and play for fans. We know we’re excited to see him live!

To keep up with Roman Alexander, follow him on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Fans can join our Weekly Round-Up e-newsletter here, for the latest in country music and more news about future Roman Alexander releases.

Roman Alexander’s music is available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

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Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC & Beyond!

Subscribe to our Weekly Round-Up here 
for ticket giveaways, meet & greet contests, upcoming events,
and all things country music in the New York metro area and beyond!

+ Follow our country music adventures on InstagramTwitter & Facebook:

Who Is Mitch Rossell? The Story Behind His Journey to Country Music

Who is Mitch Rossell? The singer-songwriter joined us to chat about his journey to country music. Get to know the rising star here…

Mitch Rossell

Mitch Rossell

Every now and then we get the opportunity to interview independent artists who we think have what it takes to become a superstar. Mitch Rossell is one of those artists. As a singer-songwriter, Rossell has truly found his calling. In our Swag Spotlight this week, our light shines Rossell and his journey to country music, his experience performing with the legendary Garth Brooks, and his brand new song “Ran into You” which features Trisha Yearwood.

Growing up in a small town in East Tennessee, Rossell knew what country living was all about. He recalls always being an avid music listener, “My dad was the one that, musically, I really connect with,” he tells us. “My dad was definitely the big country music listener. My mom was a bit too, but she was into all kinds of stuff, pop, alternative, a lot of great stuff that I feel was a big influence on me too, like Matchbox 20, stuff like that.”

Despite always loving his time listening to music with his family, Rossell indulged in other passions first. He played baseball before switching to golf, even winning three tournaments in the same year. Although he loved sports, he recalls getting burnt out and always wanting to pursue other passions. Still, he did not think to pursue music as a career.

This would later change as the summer before college Rossell’s father sadly passed away inevitably motivating him to do something his dad had always wanted him to do, play guitar. “When he passed away, I just vowed that I would learn one day. […] I just thought ‘hey’ this would be a good time to pick up a guitar.” Rather quickly, Rossell became obsessed with playing and writing music. “I just fell in love with it,” he tells us. After college, the artist quickly made the move to Nashville to pursue his dreams.

Flash forward to today, Rossell can be considered to be Garth Brooks’ protégé in country music by fans and critics alike. Writing songs for the legendary artist, Rossell is the sole writer on Brooks’ number one song “Ask Me How I Know” and a co-writer on his follow-up singles “All Day Long” and “Dive Bar”. When he got the opportunity to open up for Brooks on his sold-out world tour, and even performed with the singer during one of the shows, it was clear to Rossell that he was finally where he was meant to be. “It was a pretty remarkable experience,” he tells us, “It was all pretty surreal for me.” He later added that Brooks helped him to solidify his calling as an artist. “I went out there [and performed] and I couldn’t have been more sure.”

Most recently, the singer-songwriter released a beautiful and touching song with Trisha Yearwood called “Ran into You.” After working up the nerve to ask the superstar to be on the track with him, Rossell was over the moon excited about the song that he worked so hard on.  Ive known Trisha now for several years, and I am just a huge fan of not only here as a person, but her musically, and vocally, shes just a freaking powerhouse,” adding “Her ability is just one of the purest things Ive ever seen. Theres no doubt shewas  been born to do this”

The song itself is one of those songs that is relatable, yet deeply personal, a true country music story. It expresses how it feels to be scared of love and heartbreak, but finding your person amongst all the uncertainty.

Fans can anticipate more music coming at some point later this year from Mitch Rossell, when the time feels right. He also hopes to get back on the road as soon as possible. With that being said, we are certain that Rossell will continue to increase his staying power, as more and more people get to learn about this superstar talent.

“Overall theres always something new to create, and youre always evolving as a person, youre going through different parts of your life, and youre wanting to write new stuff that you didnt want to write about 2-3 years ago,” shared the singer, “Its always evolving, its always changing, its always growing, theres always something to say.”

We agree! To keep up with Mitch Rossell, follow him on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook.

Mitch Rossell’s new song, “Ran into You” featuring Trisha Yearwood is available now

Mitch Rossell’s new song, “Ran into You” featuring Trisha Yearwood is available now

Fans can join our Weekly Round-Up e-newsletter here, for the latest in country music and more news about future Mitch Rossell releases.

Mitch Rossell’s music is available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

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Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC & Beyond!

Subscribe to our Weekly Round-Up here 
for ticket giveaways, meet & greet contests, upcoming events,
and all things country music in the New York metro area and beyond!

+ Follow our country music adventures on InstagramTwitter & Facebook:

Who Is Callista Clark? The Story Behind Her Journey to Country Music

Who is Callista Clark? The Big Machine Records singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, joined us to chat about her journey to country music. Get to know the rising star here…

Callista Clark, Photo Credit: Ford Fairchild

Callista Clark, Photo Credit: Ford Fairchild

Our Swag Spotlight shines this week on an incredible singer-songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, who is wise and talented beyond her years. Callista Clark is a seventeen-year-old Big Machine Records recording artist with big dreams and even bigger talent. We talked to the budding songstress about her journey in Nashville, her debut EP and radio single, and of course, all about where she’s headed.

Growing up in a small town in Georgia, Clark’s primary language was music. As soon as she could talk, she found herself singing with her siblings in her grandad’s church and traveling, playing for other worshippers in her community. Being from a musical family, Clark fit right in. “The moment I could talk I was there singing with my siblings and we would harmonize together,” she tells us, adding, “I have been singing my whole life. It is what feels most natural to me. It is probably more natural to me than talking at this point.”

Throughout her upbringing, Clark got the unique opportunity to learn and listen to many different types of music. She shares feeling inspired by different genres including gospel, Motown, country music, and classic rock as some of her favorites. Crediting artists across genres, it is clear how important music was to the singer even at such an early age. Growing up she listened to everyone from The Judds and Travis Tritt, to Aretha Franklin, but now she finds herself emulating fellow songstresses in country music and beyond like Tori Kelly, Maren Morris, and Jennifer Nettles.

“All those girls that just sing incredibly, write music phenomenally and play instruments; That’s a big goal of mine to be all three.”

After music manager Scooter Braun discovered a cover video on YouTube of Clark singing Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Have You Ever Seen the Rain,” the songstress’s life was changed forever. She was offered a record deal at fifteen years old by Big Machine Label Group, and began songwriting with some of the most prominent songwriters in Nashville, and ultimately creating her debut EP.

Blending her love of many genres, Clark was able to create a timeless and invigorating debut EP called Real to Me featuring her first radio single “It’s ‘Cause I Am.” “I have been writing with amazing songwriters here in Nashville for the past three years for this collection,” she shared with us, “ And most of the ones that we just put out were some of my first co-writes ever in Nashville, when I was trying to figure out myself as a person, and myself as an artist, and what could I bring to the table to be new, and different, and fresh.”

It is safe to say that is exactly what Clark did with her latest project. She shared with fans exactly who she is and the talent she brings. Her feisty anthemic single showcases one side of the fiery songstress and her experience being a young girl in Nashville. “I feel like “It’s ‘Cause I Am” is the perfect way to introduce myself because it shows the confident, bold, strong, more sassy, and sarcastic side of me” she says of the lead single on EP. Later sharing, “the other songs introduce different sides of me, and I feel like the whole collection does a great job of doing that.”

Clearly, Clark is an artist that is going to continue pouring her heart and soul into the music that she creates. Her sound inspires people everywhere to follow their dreams and even more so, encourages young women to stake their claim wherever they want. Wise beyond her years, Clark is showcasing her staying power in country music already! We look forward to her eventual debut full-length project.

Callista Clark's debut EP, 'Real To Me' is out now

Callista Clark’s debut EP, ‘Real To Me’ is out now

Fans can join our Weekly Round-Up e-newsletter here, for the latest in country music and more news about future Callista Clark releases.

To keep up with Callista Clark, follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Callista Clark’s music is available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

—————

SHOP THE STORE

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Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC & Beyond!

Subscribe to our Weekly Round-Up here 
for ticket giveaways, meet & greet contests, upcoming events,
and all things country music in the New York metro area and beyond!

+ Follow our country music adventures on InstagramTwitter & Facebook:

Who Is Nate Barnes? The Story Behind His Journey to Country Music

Who is Nate Barnes? The Quartz Hill Records newcomer, whose debut single “You Ain’t Pretty” is currently climbing the charts, joined us to chat about his journey to country music. Get to know the rising star here…

Nate Barnes, Quartz Hill Records

Nate Barnes, Photo Credit: Justin Mayotte

For our latest Swag Spotlight artist, it was a total “God moment,” as he says that landed him a career in country music. Nate Barnes is a talented new artist, who has a knack for story-telling and an incredible voice to match.

Despite growing up in South Haven, Michigan, home of power plants and blueberry farms, Barnes always had a desire to be a musician. “My heart was set on music since I was a little kid because of my grandad,” he begins to tell us, “He instilled this dream in me by telling his stories and talking about musicians […] I knew I wanted to be a storyteller. I knew I wanted to tell the truth. I knew I wanted to inspire people through music.”

Although Barnes knew he wanted to be a musician, he did not exactly know his path. As a child, he played drums in numerous bands, only discovering his voice when he reached his teenage years. Barnes shared that he played in all different types of bands, showcasing his wide variety of musical influences. I grew up with all sorts of music. I just had such an amazing family that loved all music,” he shared, adding later that country music was not the only genre in his household. “One of the main things we listened to was Motown, it was blues, just anything you could think of, I grew up listening to.” Barnes also shared a love for artists like Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin.

The singer credits the deepening of his love for country music though, to his friend and mentor Dennis Hartman, who reintroduced him to country music at 21 years old. “He reintroduced country music in a way that I never heard before and I knew at that moment, I wanted to be a part of country music,” shared Barnes, “It spoke the truth in a way that I’ve been wanting. It felt like home, and I knew I had to be a part of it somehow.”

Continuing to gig whenever he could, Barnes settled into life in Michigan, working a full-time job unrelated to music. It was not until a trip to Tennessee that his life would flip on a dime. By happenstance, the singer met hit songwriter Jason Sellers, who after some introductions to people in Nashville convinced Barnes to take the risk and move out to Music City.

Flash forward to today, the entertainer is a bonafide artist. His debut single “You Ain’t Pretty” impacted country radio just a little over a month ago, as the most added debut song by an artist. Blowing up on radio and on social media, it is clear that Barnes is building a fanbase that will continue to support him. Calling the song, The right song at the right time that men needed to say and women needed to hear. That all people need to hear,” it is clear that Barnes has an ear for music.

The singer wrote the song with Jason Sellers and Jimmy Yeary. Crediting Yeary for the inspiration, it was the three of them that really took the song to the place it is now. Their goal was to create a song to remind people that they are wonderful just the way they are. “

“So after we got done writing it, it was just this thing, like this is such an amazing thing to say to people and to myself, I needed to hear it [too],” explained Barnes.

As “You Ain’t Pretty” continues to gain traction on the charts, fans can look forward to more new music coming from Barnes sometime this year. The singer is ready for this journey and looking forward to sharing his passion and talent with the world.

Fans can join our Weekly Round-Up e-newsletter here, for the latest in country music and more news about future Nate Barnes releases.

To keep up with Nate Barnes, follow him on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Nate Barnes’ music is available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

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Who Is Jennifer Smestad? The Story Behind Her Journey to Country Music

Who Is Jennifer Smestad? The talented singer-songwriter made waves with her breakout single “Half The Man” and is now gearing up for the release of her brand new song “Can’t Have Mine”, out everywhere Friday, March 26th. Check out our interview below where we learn more about the rising star and her journey to country music.

Jennifer Smestad // Photo Credit: Ryan Noble

Jennifer Smestad // Photo Credit: Ryan Noble

Jennifer Smestad is a Sony Music Nashville recording artist, who has grown by leaps and bounds this year due in part to her dedication, unmatched talent, and loyal fanbase that has supported her via social media since the very beginning. We talked to the songstress all about her journey to Nashville, her viral single “Half The Man,” and of course her soon-to-be-released song “Can’t Have Mine.”

Growing up in a suburb outside of Phoenix, Arizona, the singer knew almost immediately that she was destined to be a country music singer. “Pretty much ever since I was a kid, all I wanted to do was sing country music,” she tells us, “It’s pretty much in my blood and in my bones.”

Like many of us, her parents introduced her to country music, the genre she fell in love with upon first listen. 90’s country artists like Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Reba, and Shania Twain captured her heart at a young age, and she never looked back, even recalling her first concert, which happened to be one with country power couple Tim McGraw and Faith Hill.

I wrote my first song at 10 years old and I thought it was going to be the biggest Disney Channel hit,” she joked, reminiscing with us about her upbringing.

Despite knowing in her heart that she was going to pursue a career in music, Smestad also desired a college education. She completed that goal, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in communication, a degree that would go on to help her in the early stages of her career. Upon graduating, she finally took the leap and moved to Nashville to give her dream a real shot.

If I have a backup plan, then to me thats already setting myself up for failure,” she shared, adding that music was the only option. “I was just like ya know what, Im just going to do music and Im not going to have a backup plan and if it doesnt work out, Ill figure it out later.”

While in Nashville, the songstress was able to really discover her artistry and her knack as a songwriter. “Cowriting is where I have really grown as a songwriter, and I fell in love with the songwriting process,” she shared, admitting though that it took a while for her to get comfortable enough to bring her real-life experiences and emotions to a write.

“I’ve always been afraid to share my emotions, so the songwriting has been one of the most scariest, vulnerable things to me,” Smestad explained, “Finally, I was like this is scary, but Im just going to try. Im going to write something thats so real to me.” This act of bravery culminated in the singer writing a song about her sister miscarrying twins and a secondary song for her father, called “Half The Man.” Although both of the songs ended up jumpstarting her career, it was the latter that went viral and became her debut single.

Realizing how much fans related to her authenticity and vulnerability, Smestad felt ready to continue sharing herself through her music. I started writing these very personal songs that connected with me and those were the songs that performed the best online too, which totally makes sense because it comes from a genuine place,” she declared.

This Friday, her next single, “Can’t Have Mine” makes its debut. Although the song is about heartbreak, it has also emerged as an anthem for knowing your worth and what you deserve in a relationship. “Writing it, it just felt sad and it brought back a lot of sad, hopeless feelings, but after posting it on social media and the reaction that it got, I realized how empowering it is,” shared Smestad, “It brings out this raw, genuine emotion but that one line “you can’t have mine,” is actually really empowering.”

Check back here at NYCountry Swag on Friday, March 26th for our full review of the new song and the exclusive premiere of the lyric video!

Although the songstress is not quite sure what this year has in store for her, she promises that more music will come at some point, but for now, fans should continue to stream her current songs. Regardless it’s safe to say that Smestad is here to stay.

Fans can join our Weekly Round-Up e-newsletter here, for the latest in country music and more news about future Jennifer Smestad releases.

To keep up with Jennifer Smestad, follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Jennifer Smestad’s music is available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

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Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC & Beyond!

Subscribe to our Weekly Round-Up here 
for ticket giveaways, meet & greet contests, upcoming events,
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Who Is Robert Counts? The Story Behind His Journey to Country Music

Who Is Robert Counts? Talented new country Sony Nashville recording artist, whose debut single “What Do I Know” is working its way up the charts.

Robert Counts

Robert Counts – Photo Credit – Sean McGee

Sony Music Nashville is full of exciting new singer-songwriters for fans to fall in love with! This week’s Swag Spotlight artist, Robert Counts is no exception. He’s a true-blue country artist with a country-rock sound, a gritty vibe, and a powerful knack for songwriting. We got a chance to interview the rising artist and learn more about his path to country music.

Growing up in Franklin, Tennessee, a town just outside of Nashville, Counts recalls being introduced to music through his faith. “I first started playing music in my church. That’s kind of where I started taking guitar lessons,” he recalls, sharing his experience playing in his church’s contemporary band throughout his childhood.

At that point, music was just a hobby for the budding musician. “As a kid, I was a thinker,” he shared, adding, “I liked more contemporary music like John Mayer, Jason Isbell, stuff like indie-rock […] anything with a lyric was what I was drawn to.” Counts spent his younger years learning rifts on the guitar and being mesmerized by the story-telling aspect of country music, as well as, more contemporary artists.

Some of his most profound musical influences can be traced back to his parents. “My mom was a big fan of Travis Tritt and Alan Jackson,” he shared, “Coincidentally now, two of my favorite country artists of all times- they’re storytellers.” Counts also shared a liking of midwestern rock artists like Bob Segar and Bruce Springsteen. The connecting thread though was always about the ability to craft an exceptional lyric.

Despite obvious pure talent, Counts decided to pursue a different path, heading to college and obtaining a degree in biochemistry, with dreams of being a surgeon. After graduation, he decided to take a gap year to study for the MCATS; however, that was when the trajectory of his future was flipped on its axis.

“I entered a few songs that I thought were good,” he recalls, talking about a songwriting contest at Puckett’s, “…and I ended up winning the whole thing.” The contest led him to his first publishing deal. “I learned about the industry. I learned how publishing works. I honed my craft as far as songwriting a little bit. Got in, met some people, and I just fell in love with it, he shared.”

Since then, Counts has been dedicated to honing his craft. With some convincing from supportive people in his life, the songwriter pivoted again, deciding to focus on becoming an artist in his own right.

Now as a signed recording artist, Counts is garnering a fanbase that respects his love of country music, his knowledge of the industry, and of course his impressive vocals. His debut radio single, “What Do I Know,” written by the singer with HARDY and Jake Mitchell, is currently climbing the charts. “We got that idea and we were like what about southern advice, stuff your dad tells you growing up, things you hear,” Counts recalls, thinking about the co-write with HARDY and Mitchell from back in 2018.

Although Counts knew then that the song was good, it took two years for the singer to finally decide to release it as his debut single. “For my debut single to radio, I wanted to be something that really came out swinging and left nothing to question,” adding, You know who I am. I am a guy whose southern, works hard, I’m normal every day, every man, just living his life by honest truth. And I think that’s what that song says.” We couldn’t agree more!

As 2020 comes to a close, fans can anticipate more music heading down the pipeline early next year. Counts also promises to get back on the road to play live shows again as soon as it is safe. Stay tuned for more from the singer-songwriter!

Fans can join our Weekly Round-Up e-newsletter here, for the latest in country music and more news about future Robert Counts releases.

To keep up with Robert Counts, follow him on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

“What Do I Know” is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

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The Hero Collection by NYCountry Swag is inspired by the men and women of the Fire, Police and Military Departments across the country. A portion of sales from each purchase is donated to different foundations that support our heroes. We are dedicated to honoring their service and remembering their sacrifice.

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Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC & Beyond!

Subscribe to our Weekly Round-Up here 
for ticket giveaways, meet & greet contests, upcoming events,
and all things country music in the New York metro area and beyond!

+ Follow our country music adventures on InstagramTwitter & Facebook: